When Toscana opened the doors in 1989, Executive Chef Hugo Vasquez and his four brothers were part of the founding team under the tutelage of then Executive Chef Agostino Sciandri. Hugo worked at Sciandri’s side for years; his brothers prepared the daily pastries, washed and bussed dishes or bolstered the line in the kitchen.
All born in Acapulco, Mexico, the Vasquez brothers arrived in the United States in 1988. Vasquez had already spent several years learning to make pizza. Once he cultivated more culinary skills in his new country, he was certain that his heart, and his future, was in the kitchen.
Vasquez is grateful to have been at Toscana for all these years, stating that he is fulfilled by doing what he loves.
He learned from an early point in his career that the best food is the simplest dish, with few ingredients of the very best quality. “You don’t need much as long as you have the best and the freshest,” says Vasquez.
Vasquez and his wife Reina have three children. He was thrilled when his oldest son, Jonathan, came to work with him in the kitchen one summer. Although his son didn’t share the stamina for the long, hot hours behind the stove,
he declared newfound respect for his father’s dedication and hard work.
The inspiration for many of Vasquez dishes and specials comes from his insatiable curiosity and thirst for learning.
He regularly scours through cookbooks, and then challenges himself to create something new for the Toscana guests. He takes pride and satisfaction when he sees the look in a customer’s eyes – and knows he has done just that.
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